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Google Censors a Site That Exposes United Nations Corruption

After more than two years, Inner City Press disappears from Google News.
 
 
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Anyone on the U.N. corruption beat in the past couple years has likely come across Inner City Press, a no-frills United Nations-focused news site that happens to be "the most effective and important media organization for U.N. whistleblowers," according to Bea Edwards of the Government Accountability Project (GAP). Since December 2005, Inner City Press has run stories spotlighting wrongdoing and malfeasance within the United Nations Development Program, from Turkey to West Africa to North Korea.

Inner City Press has filled an important niche: "Current whistleblower protections at the U.N. are grossly inadequate," according to GAP. With would-be whistleblowers vulnerable to retaliation, the news site has "reported the arcane tactics of silencing the free speech of employees of conscience in the U.N. system."

Now, it looks like Inner City Press itself is the subject of retaliation -- and not, at first glance, by the U.N. Instead, the site has been buried by the very search engine that has driven traffic to it for more than two years: Google News.

Earlier this month, editor-in-chief Matthew Lee received an ominous message on behalf of Google:

"We periodically review news sources, particularly following user complaints, to ensure Google News offers a high quality experience for our users … When we reviewed your site we've found that we can no longer include it in Google News."

Are "user complaints" coming from the U.N.?

Surprise: FOX News is on the trail:

Liliana Segura is an AlterNet staff writer and editor of the Rights & Liberties section.

 
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